It's About Trust
Nothing is more important to to you as a small business owner than your customers. You've worked hard to engage and secure their trust and confidence in you, and growing your business will depend in large part on maintaining their trust. In today's competitive marketplace, that's more difficult to do than ever.
As hard as you've worked to earn your customers' trust, it can take just one negative experience to break it. Your ability to keep your customers' sensitive data secure is one of those make-it-or-break-it events. It may surprise you, but developing a data protection plan — and then openly communicating it and actively implementing it — is a key way to build customer trust. Today's savvy buyers actively look for tangible signs that a business they're interacting with has taken the necessary precautions to secure their sensitive customer data. If they’re not confident that you’ll protect their data, they won’t do business with you. Many online buyers will abandon the transaction process if they don’t have confidence in the online retailer.
Protecting Your Data vs Becoming a Statistic
We’ve all seen the headlines in recent years about large scale data breaches – an international crime ring hacks into a national retailer, siphoning off millions of payment card details; or a government agency loses millions of personal records that include Social Security Numbers. These types of data losses can happen to small businesses as well, although they don’t always lead to national headlines. In fact, Visa estimates that approximately 85% of data breaches occur at the small business level.
Taking proactive, strategic steps to protect your customer and employee data — and developing a plan for how you would respond should something occur that compromises that data — will:
- Strengthen the trust that your customers place in you
- Set you apart from your competition
- Save you money in near-term
- Might even save your business in the event of a significant data loss
BBB's Data Security — Made Simpler is here to help address these issues. Data security is not a simple issue to address...but in this Guide, we've tried to make the information:
- Simpler to read,
- Simpler to process, and
- Simpler to help you get your data security house in order.
It's written specifically for small business owners, focusing on the most common data security issues small business owners face. It goes beyond telling you what you should be doing; it gives you concrete guidelines, and turn-key suggestions that will point you towards solutions and resources that are right-sized for small business owners.
Listen to the "Tips on increasing trust in small businesses by heightening security measures, implementing security plans" podcast by David Zetoony, the speaker/author and a Topic Expert for the BBB Data Security program.
Resource: PowerPoint 'Identity Fraud and Small Businesses – and Trust'
Keynote speech at FDIC Symposium, “Combating Commercial Payments Fraud”, by Steve Cox, CEO, Council of Better Business Bureaus, May 11, 2010.
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